A unique a training of trainers programme that certifies UN security professionals to conduct security courses.


To create a pool of trainers qualified to deliver different safety and security training programmes worldwide, the United Nations System Staff College and the United Nations Department (UNDSS) for Safety and Security have jointly designed and developed the Trainer Development and Certification Course (TDC). The programme is designed based on the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for planning, delivering and reviewing security training. It draws on the Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments Training of Trainers (SSAFE ToT) and the Security Training Officers Certification Course programmes.

TDC+SSAFE is a eight-day course, six of which aim to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of a professional trainer in these areas:

  • Field Security Assistant/Associate Course
  • Security Certification Programme
  • Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
  • Gender Materials.

The remaining two days focus on developing participant skills for delivering SSAFE.TDC and SSAFE include an assessment component. Given that is competency-based, it is not competitive. Participants are required to deliver a number of short training sessions and complete a theory examination in a constructive and supportive environment.

How to become a trainer

The TDC course is designed to train participants to become trainers for UNDSS security courses. UNDSS is considering an evidence-based approach that experienced trainers can apply to gain official recognition of their knowledge and skills. There are no prerequisites for attending and completing the TDC course. However, participants must already be or likely to be engaged in the delivery UNDSS security training.

How to lead the delivery of a course

The following individual courses only become a requirement when successful participants want to go on to lead the delivery of specific courses:

1. Local Security Assistant

  • Must currently be in a security professional role, including training officer, Local Security Assistant (LSA), Field Security Coordination Officer (FSCO), Security Assistant (SA) or similar/equivalent
  • Proposed course/s must be approved (60 days’ notice at least)
  • Participant list, certificates and database coordinated by the Training and Development Section (TDS)

2. Security Certification Programme

  • Must currently be in a security professional role, including training officer, FSCO, SA or similar/equivalent
  • Must have successfully completed a Security Certification Programme (SCP) course with a Fully Competent grade or higher
  • Proposed course/s must be approved by TDS (60 days’ notice at least)
  • Participant list, certificates and database coordinated by TDS

3. Individual First Aid Kit

  • Must have successfully completed the Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) course
  • Proposed course/s should be in the global calendar
  • Participant list, certificates and database coordinated by TDS

4. Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (if the 2-day SSAFE TDC add on is offered)

  • Must use curriculum approved by TDS (approval process requires at least 30 days’ notice)
  • Proposed course/s should be in the global calendar
  • Participant list, certificates and database coordinated by TDS

Have you already completed a ToT?

If you have already completed one or more course-specific UNDSS training of trainer (ToT) courses, you do not need to complete the TDC course to continue delivering that course. The TDC course covers basic trainer theory and practice and is intended for trainers looking to pick up one or more new courses for which do not yet have a ToT course.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be:

  • Able to effectively deliver the standard SCP, LSA, IFAK, and SSAFE training curricula using adult learning techniques (see individual course eligibility criteria below)
  • Qualified to enter a pool of UN (TDC)+SSAFE trainers who are responsible for training UN staff and associated personnel in their countries and/or duty stations
Course methodology

Based on the SSAFE ToT, designed and refined since 2007, the TDC+SSAFE training curriculum presents sessions that incorporate learning theory, practical training techniques and a theme (LSA/SCP/ IFAK/SSAFE). This way, participants can learn and apply theories while continually revisiting the contents of each of the courses that the TDC+SSAFE is based on.

There are formative and summative assessment tasks interspersed throughout the programme and each will require work in the evenings for the duration of the course. Formative assessment results are either “Demonstrated” or “Not Yet Demonstrated”.

Summative assessment results and overall course result are either “Competent” or “Not Yet Competent”. To be assessed as “Competent”, a participant must demonstrate the required knowledge, skills and attitudes in the final practical and theory assessments. They should also plan, deliver and review a training course within 12 months.

Certificates (and certification) will be issued once the participant has planned, delivered and reviewed a training course.

Course contents

Participants are exposed to adult learning styles, training methodologies and techniques that underpin each of the UNDSS courses. Participants are also provided with the resources and role players required to design and run vignettes and scenarios which relate directly to standard SSAFE modules.

The TDC course is focused on security training and designed for United Nations Security Management System personnel who will be both engaged in the delivery of security training in the near future and potentially available as a trainer resource upon which UNDSS may draw from to deliver security training. The course will expose participants to materials from LSA/SCP/IFAK. 

Target audience

International and national security professionals from the UN system and affiliated organizations who will be engaged in the delivery of security training. For Division of Regional Operations (DRO) and Division of Headquarters Safety and Security (DHSSS) personnel, TDS consults with DRO/DHSSS to fill course positions. Accordingly, DRO/DHSSS personnel seeking to become UNDSS certified trainers need to ensure that their nomination is submitted through their respective Security Adviser/Chief Security Adviser/Principal Security Adviser and onto DRO/DHSSS prior to the closing date.

Cost of participation

The course fee of $3,300 covers the eight-day course (including participation in the field day). Participants are responsible for their own travel, transfers, accommodation and meals.